What you need to know about Medical Practice IT Security

Australia’s digital and business economy is adapting to undeniable change as technology continues to design, facilitate and manage our online experiences. Although technology has facilitated extreme growth and forward thinking for Australian business, our increased reliance and trust in technologies further suggests the need for stronger standards on IT security, with a focus on the healthcare industry.

If we identify the need for increased IT security for medical practices, there’s a lot to be observed and noted. On a daily basis, medical practices all over Australia are dealing with extremely sensitive information in their systems, as well as playing host to incredibly large databases of their client’s personal details. With improper IT security measures, it’s sensitive information like this that can, in the wrong hands, be used for fraudulent purposes. Small medical practices are susceptible to attacks due to limited security protection, as well as limited knowledge or education on IT security procedures. As a whole, the health sector are high-value targets for malicious activity.

According to a Deloitte Australia report Australia’s 2020 Security Strategy, there are an increasing number of healthcare and medical tech organisations reporting cyber attacks, inline with the increase of attacks witnessed on a global scale.

In addition to this, according to a recent Stanfield IT report, it detailed the number of healthcare data breaches nationwide across Australia in the first two quarters of 2019. In the quarter of April to June 2019 alone there were 47 notified data breaches reported and 58 reported breaches in the quarter prior January to March 2019. This is a total of 105 breaches across Australia in the first half of 2019. It’s definitely a very real issue the industry is facing and medical practices are high on the agenda when it comes to security breaches.

What were the details of the attacks on the medical practices?

  • 47% compromised/stolen credentials
  • 17% hacking
  • 17% phishing

This was then followed by brute force attacks (8%), ransomware (8%) and malware (8%).

Despite the reports of IT security breaches and the fear that surrounds it, there is hope to protect your medical practice or business and have an exceptional recovery and crisis action plan that strives to guide you on what you and your staff can do to mitigate the potential damages.

The following list are some examples of what you can put in place to enhance your medical practice or business IT security plan:

  • Construct comprehensive information security policies within your business
  • Include a clear purpose, objective and concise scope of your policies
  • List of relevant information security incidents and their consequences
  • Outline of organisational ladder, list roles, responsibilities and levels of authority
  • Reporting procedures and contact form
  • Actively practice team education
  • Induction training, discussion at meetings, formal ongoing training when requirements or legislative changes are made
  • Practice drills to test processes, business continuity and information recovery plans
  • Allocating roles, responsibilities and resources across practice owners, managers and team members
  • Create a culture of information security
  • Devise a variety of ways to monitor and measure your security
  • Perform a risk assessment
  • Have a business continuity plan with information recovery procedures
  • Have a resilient backup and restoration process for practice data
  • Regularly update software and systems
  • Educate and train your practice team.
  • Keep smart devices connected to the internet secure

Of course, creating an IT security plan for your business, in particular that of a medical practice, can be overwhelming and frustrating. It involves a large amount of time, effort and resources (not to mention industry knowledge) to execute efficiently.

At Mint IT, we offer an array of services specifically for medical practices to ensure their important data and computer systems have the best level of protection against cyber crimes. Our team of highly qualified professionals can assist with the following areas:

  • Internet Security Management
  • Data Backup & Recovery
  • Anti-Spam Filtering
  • End-Point Anti-Virus
  • Secure User Access
  • Staff Training & User Education

If you’re after more information on medical practice IT security, or that of any business, contact Mint IT today to discuss how we can assist.